After losing a tight, hotly contested match-up with the Miami Heat 108-103, Kevin Durant used the post-game press conference to voice his displeasure with the real problem for him in the game.
No, not his inability to score when LeBron James bodied him up defensively. He had a problem with the Miami Heat's third man.
It seems that Durant doesn't appreciate opposing players making comments in his direction when he is talking to his teammates. That apparently includes All-Stars.
"I was talking to my teammate and [Chris Bosh] decided he wanted to put his two cents into it," a clearly aggravated Durant told reporters.
According to Durant, he was simply telling his teammate James Harden, to "dunk on Bosh" next time he has a fast-break layup attempt. The previous time down the court, Harden was attempting to lay the ball up against Bosh's defense and drew the foul on Bosh. Mine you, this comment was made within earshot of Chris and Durant was angry that Bosh chimed in.
First of all, anyone with even a novice idea of the game of basketball should be mindful of the fact that dunking on an opposing player is the NBA equivalent of ones pants falling down on stage at a graduation. It is embarrassing, and quite frankly disrespectful toward the opposing player.Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
Durant should never have "suggested" that his teammate look to dunk on another player. Unless of course, he wouldn't mind being the one on the bad end of a poster. Also, to do it with Bosh clearly in hearing range was also inappropriate.
I think that Chris Bosh, while jawing rightly in the direction of the blatant sign of disrespect, showed a lot of restraint during and after the game.
Can you imagine what Kobe or Garnett would have done if Durant had said "dunk on him" at them? Kobe would have scored 25 straight and talked trash the rest of the game, while KG would have upped the ante of his usual trash talk to the umpteenth degree. Then dunked on the Thunder's center to send a message.
But Durant's behavior gets to another underlined issue that I have with him: He is vastly overrated.
A lot of people have proclaimed him the second coming, the "anti-Lebron," a real champion and the man who still has a chance to win his first MVP award this season.
Well, as much as Thunder fans may not want to hear it, Durant will not be the MVP this season. No chance. LeBron, Wade, Kobe and Chris Paul have a better shot at winning the award than Durant this season. His team is (with Dirk Nowitzki playing for the Dallas Mavericks) a fourth or fifth seed in the West and that's not good enough to be considered the league's most valuable player, not matter how much scoring you do.Harry How/Getty Images
Unless, Durant has to carry the team down the stretch after injuries to key players, or they get exceptionally hot going into the playoffs, his team will not be good enough for him to secure the award.
Additionally, Durant just hasn't been that great in these key match-up against the league's best players and teams.
I was looking forward to seeing how Durant would play in his first meeting against the team that knocked him out of the playoffs the previous season, the Lakers.
This was Durant's opportunity to show the Lakers that he had improved, that he was ready to challenge them and that he'd taken his game to another level. But Durant played a terrible game shooting 8-24, as the Lakers defense, which hasn't exactly been prime time so far this season, completely shut Durant down.
Well, maybe it was just a bad game and Durant will come back strong on his home-court against LeBron James. After all, aren't some writers claiming that Durant has already surpassed LeBron as the game's best small forward?
Well, for all the writers who feel that Durant has in any way, shape or form, surpassed or even equalled James. Take a good, hard look at the game Sunday. James dominated Durant throughout the game.
Durant shot an ugly 7-20, scoring 33 points mostly from the free throw line. He did make a couple of big shots in the fourth, but when LeBron was on him, James clearly had the upper hand and is now 6-0 against Durant all-time.
I know that LeBron's plethora of critics will claim otherwise, Durant is not "closing in" on James as the game's best player. Outside of scoring average, and free throw percentage, James trumps Durant in every statistical category including, surprisingly enough, 3-point field goal percentage.
But back to the incident that got Durant so upset, continued his tirade by adding that: "I am a quiet, laid-back guy, but I'm not going to let nobody talk trash to me."
Again, what exactly does he call telling a teammate to dunk on a guy standing four feet away? That's trash talk KD. And just because Bosh defended himself, that makes him a "fake tough guy?" Hmmm...Harsh words coming from a fake MVP candidate.
"He's on a good team now, so he thinks he can talk a little bit."
Well, Kevin Durant knows full well that as trash talkers go, Bosh is not necessarily among the league's loudest or most insistent. He is actually one of the most quietly efficient players in the league and the success Miami has with him on the court playing well speaks volumes to his importance to this team.
"There are a lot of fake tough guys in this league and he's one of them."
You know, I would have a lot more appreciation for Durant's tirade if he directed a bit of it at himself and his teammates.
The Thunder are currently 21st in points allowed, 22 in field goal percentage defense (worst than the Knicks) and has an All-Star (Durant) that is still averaging more turnovers than assists and seeing both his field goal percentage and 3-point field goal percentage drop from his career averages.
Instead of worrying about his team's offensive showmanship or Chris Bosh getting into his "private conversation," he needs to begin to start living up to the enormous amount of hype he has gained and shooting 15-44 in marquee games is not the way to show your greatness.